Channel Islands National Park
1901 Spinnaker Drive
Channel Islands—Kayaking and Hiking in One of So. Calif.’s Most Beautiful LocationsFirst of all, I’m not a water person. To get me in a boat is a big deal. To get me in a kayak is, well, an even bigger deal. That being said, when I had the opportunity to kayak along Santa Cruz island in the Channel Islands National Park (11 miles off the Ventura County coast), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I popped a seasickness pill (just in case) and off I went. A little over an hour later (and feeling fine), my group arrived. The views were breathtaking. It is hard to imagine that such a gorgeous place is just offshore. Since it was February, we donned wetsuits, received our kayaking instructions from our friendly guides at Channel Islands Outfitters and into the water we went. The experience was exhilarating with the waters unbelievably crystal clear. Once back onshore, we ate a quick lunch and then took an easy two-mile hike to the top of the island. We could see for miles—nothing but ocean and islands. We took the 3:30 boat back to the mainland. I had survived and, even better, I enjoyed every minute of it.